AMD"s LIVE! program takes one more step towards a holiday 2006 launch
We just received word via AMD memos that the LIVE! initiative is finally starting to solidify. The new LIVE! logo, featured right, will show up on all new systems built by AMD that fill the requirements for media and home entertainment systems.
AMD"s LIVE! program is virtually identical in spirit and practice to Intel"s Viiv initiative. A few weeks ago, we detailed out the specifics of the two programs and came to the conclusion that both platforms have a ways to go to even compete with existing Apple alternatives. LIVE! already has Vista Premium certification, but with the delay into 2007 the upcoming OS should have little effect on the 2006 launch of LIVE!.
System builders tell us they have been briefed on LIVE! and we may start seeing systems announced this summer already. Expect an avalanche of AMD info over the next few weeks. AMD roadmaps claim systems will actually start shipping in early Q4"06, up from the initial "mid-2006" estimate from CeBIT 2006 documents.
Further documentation revealed that the one major difference between Viiv and LIVE! may be AMD"s quick adoption of portable media players, or PMPs. Intel"s Viiv requires desktop-ish processors with desktop-ish chipsets for core support. The Acer, Lite-On and Thompson devices featured in AMD documents are based on embedded chipsets. As a result, LIVE! will be tiered into several different levels, though the extent of each of these levels was not revealed to us just yet — we do know they are finalized, however.